Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith teaches the history of political thought at Oxford.

From The Blog
17 December 2021

bell hooks was scathing about academic feminism’s turn towards, as she saw it, an obscurantist postmodernism. But she thought that denying the usefulness of theory tout court and denying the status of ‘theory’ to the work of Black and other marginalised women were two sides of the same anti-intellectual coin. Theory was itself a form of practice, a collective project of naming and meaning-making with liberatory potential.

Diary: A Free Speech Agenda

Sophie Smith, 12 August 2021

Within​ 24 hours of its launch on 13 June, some of the advertisers on GB News began pulling their ads. The Swedish cider brand Kopparberg was first, followed by a dozen others, including Ikea, Vodafone and the Open University. None said it was boycotting the channel, although this is the way their actions were described both by some supporters and by the right-wing press. The companies...

From The Blog
14 January 2019

A group of Oxford students are petitioning to have John Finnis, emeritus professor of law and legal philosophy, 'removed from his academic position' on account of his 'discriminatory views against many groups of disadvantaged people'. In his published writings, Finnis has claimed that gay sex is an 'immoral sexual act' akin to bestiality, that being gay should count ‘at least as a negative factor, if not a disqualification’ for adopting children, and that governments should 'discourage' citizens from homosexuality. The petition has its problems.

From The Blog
7 March 2018

This morning the vice chancellor sent a message to all staff of the University of Oxford: Dear Colleagues, I am writing to follow up on yesterday’s meeting in the Sheldonian which my colleagues have told me about. I was very sorry not to be there myself but I had scheduled a trip to New York on university business before the meeting of Congregation was called. In light of the depth of feeling of so many colleagues we will convene a special meeting of Council today at noon and will be recommending that Council reverse its response to the UUK survey in line with Congregation’s resolution.

From The Blog
6 March 2018

As feared, 21 people stood up in Congregation today to block a debate and vote on revising Oxford's position on pension reform. At least some of the 21 were university administrators, and included the pro-vice chancellor for diversity, as well as other members of Council (the university's executive body). The vice chancellor was not there.

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